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Amy Mckinley, Senior Marketing Perspectives

Senior Living Marketing Perspectives: Operating in the Senior Living Space Post-COVID with Amy McKinley


Topics Discussed and Key Points:

  • Operating in a completely virtual environment
  • How salespeople can effectively address concerns related to COVID-19
  • Introducing empathy in the call and building a genuine relationship with the prospect with a no-touch system
  • The senior living space in a post-COVID world

Episode Summary:

In today’s episode, Debbie speaks with Amy McKinley, a 35-year veteran of the senior living space and the Co-Founder and CEO at Senior Source Consulting Group.

Amy discusses the overnight reality of having to advise providers on selling their community in a no-touch environment. Amy says that salespeople “now have to be more on point.” For instance, in-person tours and face-to-face mystery shopping have exclusively turned into virtual walkthroughs and phone calls—which arguably take more skill to manage.

She adds that, nowadays, “we have to be more transparent, but in a way that is meaningful to the prospect.” It is important to make people feel important on the phone. This is, indeed, more work, but if done correctly, can easily allow one community to stand out in a sea of ever-increasing noise.

Health and safety have obviously become top-of-mind concerns among both prospects and providers. It is vital not just to demonstrate the safety measures your facility adheres to, but also to give good reasons why a family member should make the move to that facility as soon as possible. One point to emphasize is that it is much better for that family member to live among a community than to be alone in these uncertain times.

Salespeople should never rely on filling the CRM alone. Unfortunately, most do. What Amy recommends is for the salesperson to apply tactfulness during the call, keeping an appropriate balance between discovery and building rapport. In other words, salespeople should never forget the lasting power of building genuine relationships.

Emotion, after all, is what creates urgency to make a decision. “They’re not going to get to that point if you’re just asking a checklist of questions,” says Amy.

Resources Mentioned:

Senior Source Consulting Group

Amy McKinley on LinkedIn

Contact Amy: 615-330-9553

[email protected]

Using Facebook Live in Senior Living During COVID-19

A panel of senior living marketing professionals will share strategies and tactics for lead generation, nurturing and conversions given current restrictions regarding tours, events and community visits.

Increase Occupancy By Maximizing LTCi Benefit Payments

A panel of senior living marketing professionals will share strategies and tactics for lead generation, nurturing and conversions given current restrictions regarding tours, events and community visits.

Mom’s House Helps Seniors Move-In Faster

A panel of senior living marketing professionals will share strategies and tactics for lead generation, nurturing and conversions given current restrictions regarding tours, events and community visits.

Expand Beyond Zoom: Bigger, Better Ways to Use Video

A panel of senior living marketing professionals will share strategies and tactics for lead generation, nurturing and conversions given current restrictions regarding tours, events and community visits.

5 Key Insights: Employee Engagement in Senior Living Communities

A panel of senior living marketing professionals will share strategies and tactics for lead generation, nurturing and conversions given current restrictions regarding tours, events and community visits.

Battling COVID-19 Webinar

Senior Living Marketing Webinar: Battling COVID-19

We’ve gathered industry experts for this FREE senior living marketing webinar to give you the tools to effectively manage the COVID-19 pandemic in your senior living community. From resident and staff health, effective procedures for cleaning and disinfecting to managing crisis communication.

Here’s what you’ll learn: 

  • Strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in senior living communities
  • Prevention, treatment of COVID-19
  • COVID-19 HR Policy
  • CDC Recommendations
  • Safety FAQs
  • When should you use standard precautions
  • Three types of transmission
  • Practicing good EVS procedures
  • Supporting staff, residents and families
  • Crisis Communication
  • Virtual sales tools
SENior living marketing

Get the Most from Your Paid Advertising Budget: Consider Call Analytics

Marketers in the senior living space face a challenge: They often can’t tie their marketing spend directly to its impact on their organization’s bottom line. The thin amount of data they receive shows their online campaigns are generating calls. But how many are from actual prospects? And how many calls are being properly serviced? This is where call analytics can help.

Baseline data—the number of clicks, calls, or visits—isn’t enough to run a thoroughly optimized campaign. Worse, baseline data can be misleading and costly. Senior living marketers need to identify, understand, and, perhaps most importantly, communicate to company stakeholders how their campaigns support the company’s bottom line.

Not All Call Analytics are Created Equal

Basic conversion analytics, such as click-through rates, form fills, email response rates, and call duration, may not tell the whole story. For example, when you run a Google Ads campaign, you’ll know exactly how many calls you received from the ads. What you won’t know is why the calls were made.

Take this real-world example, which illustrates our point: When family members want to reach a resident at a senior living property, they typically search online for the property name. Often, a paid search or display ad renders first. So, the searcher clicks to call the facility. In short, the ad did its job and delivered a call; it’s just not a new customer call as intended.

How prevalent is this? One Marchex senior living client found that over 20 percent of their paid search budget was consumed this way. In other words, one out of every five calls was from residents’ extended families. The calls were not driving new business, as intended. At a few bucks a click, this wasted spend can add up quickly and consume a budget.

Another contributing factor in wasted ad spend can come from inside the residence. A Marchex property management client found that 40 percent of their $100,000 monthly budget went to residents calling for maintenance. Call analytics helped the client improve their bid strategy, resulting in thousands of calls that actually drove new leases.

Call Analytics Help Align Marketing, Sales, and Operations

Adding call analytics into a senior living company’s marketing mix also delivers benefits to sales and operations. Marchex solutions facilitate reporting by surfacing call data by individual location. Once operations has visibility across multiple locations, they can identify opportunities to fix breakage in the customer journey, enable targeted agent training, and address other operational improvements.

Sales can gain insights into how agents perform. For instance, they can determine how closely agents follow sales scripts. Or they can learn how agents respond to callers (or whether they answer the phone at all). In fact, Marchex analyzed millions of senior living industry calls over a twelve-month period and found that 23 percent of calls to senior living companies go unanswered.

Finally, call analytics deliver insights that help marketers take an active leadership role in the company. With call analytics, you can prove value more effectively than basic analytics and help justify marketing and ad budgets. You can also provide value to operations and sales. Best of all, at the next annual budget meeting, you’ll able to offer data-driven results that demonstrate how your marketing is positively impacting the bottom line.

To learn how your marketing, sales, and operations can benefit from call analytics, download our one-sheet for senior living marketers and Call Conversation datasheet →

Marchex is the leading provider of end-to-end call analytics solutions, with the deepest and broadest set of applications for mid-market and enterprise businesses on the market today. The best customers are those who call your business. Marchex helps you understand who called and why, so you can turn more of these callers into customers. Learn more →

NEED HELP TRYING NEW IDEAS? WE’RE THE APP FOR THAT! 🙂

Seriously, we’ve been in your shoes, and we can help. We keep our eyes on the latest and greatest technology, including call analytics, and get a sense of if and how it could work for the senior living industry before we recommend it to our clients. Get in touch and let’s talk about how we can help.

Senior Living Marketing and Sales: CRM Search Made Easy

Senior Living CRM Search Made Easy

Choosing new senior living CRM software can be a daunting task. But it can also be an opportunity to discover new features that can enhance your sales culture. Below, you’ll find helpful tips for choosing a new CRM.

The Senior Living CRM Search: Make Your List and Dream Big

Before you schedule demos, make a list of what you like about your current CRM and everything that frustrates users. Create three lists: Must Haves, Would Be Nice to Have, and Non-Negotiables.

Here are some of the top considerations when researching senior living CRMs:

  1. Ease of Use: Like our prospects, we’re comfortable with the familiar. Change is difficult. We want our users to transition with ease.
  2. Better Reporting: With more robust reporting, you can increase transparency between marketing and sales teams. Look for a system that delivers what you want on all levels of reporting. Think basic user through leadership team.
  3. A Refined User Experience: Sales and marketing teams today don’t function on recording activity alone. There are many roles within the department. Look for a system that delivers an experience tailored to different roles.
  4. Simultaneous Support of Multiple Service Lines: Communities are no longer operating within the brick and mortar communities. Today, there are multiple lines of service, community outreach efforts, and census management functions. Each one has its own set of data fields, workflows, and supporting reports. Choose a CRM that can deliver on the expanding markets your community is either currently immersed in or considering for the future.
  5. Defined Sales Process: Senior living counselors are no longer order takers. Competition is fierce. Having a defined sales process that everyone follows is the key to success. Whether you want a pre-defined process or you want to build your own, make sure to implement a CRM that supports process. Bonus points if it can simultaneously support multiple processes or workflows that tailor the experience for your different service lines.
  6. Marketing Automation: Whether it’s simply having a more efficient way to send and track personal email or you’re seeking full-blown marketing automation, the future of senior living marketing and sales involves marketing automation. Select a tool that supports forward-thinking and emerging marketing trends.

Senior Living CRM: Fear of Data Migration:

Make sure the vendor you select can seamlessly move your data, including your waiting lists and prospect activity history. Ask potential vendors the following:

  • Do you have a reliable process covering all data migration facets of extraction, translation, cleansing, and validation?
  • Will you perform analysis and inspection of the information to validate data quality? Will you pinpoint required data and highlight gaps in the data from the current system?
  • Are you well versed in detailed mapping and transformation exercises to define migration rules, cleansing routines, and final execution plans?

Senior Living CRM Training, User Support, and Flexibility

Learning a new system requires training, reinforcement, and on-going support. Here are some questions to ask before you sign a contract with a new CRM provider:

  • How do you train people on the new CRM?
  • What kind of ongoing support do you offer? Do we have to pay extra for it? (Think online learning center, live support, built-in knowledge base.)
  • Is the CRM flexible enough to support future changes users may want to make in data fields, workflows, and reporting? Can we make these changes ourselves, or will we have to pay you (the CRM vendor) for any changes?

Senior Living CRM Implementation: Embrace the Change

Regardless of which CRM you choose, you will experience a learning curve. Embrace this fact and go with it. Fear of change can be paralyzing and inhibit the ability to accept and retain new information. Remember, the impact of learning a new system will be far less scary if each member of your team is open to change.

Finally, don’t let the fear of change keep you from diving into the search. The process of vetting, selecting, and implementing a new CRM may take longer than anticipated. Budget at least 90-120 days for the process.

Guest author Kristin Hambleton is the VP of Business Development at Continuum CRM. Let their experienced team help guide you on this journey.

Senior Living Marketing Tips: What is Your Special Sauce?

Marketing Strategies for Senior Living: What’s Your Special Sauce?

Let’s talk awesome marketing strategies for senior living. To start, who remembers that great jingle from the 1970’s: “Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun”?

For all of us who grew up with that catchy song, we knew it was about the McDonald’s Big Mac. The special sauce was the magic. It was the distinction between a plain old hamburger and a Big Mac.

OK, so what’s this got to do with your senior living community?

Keep reading…

When it comes to marketing strategies for senior living, you must know your community’s special sauce.

Special sauce is a good way to explain how you’re different from your competitors. In other words, your special sauce is what sets you apart.

For example, consider Walmart. Its special sauce is simple: pricing. Everything that Walmart does is specifically about keeping their prices low. Apple’s special sauce is innovation. Nike focuses on their product line. They are the gold standard in athletic wear.

What’s the special sauce in your senior living community? Do you have something that makes your community stand out?

Not sure? Not to worry. The following marketing strategies for senior living will help you create the perfect special sauce recipe for your community.

1. Operational Excellence

Offering quality services at an affordable price—that’s what everyone wants, right? A great example is our friend McDonald’s. It offers a simple, budget-friendly menu. It also maintains consistency in taste, swift service, and efficiency.

2. Product Leadership

This competitive strategy focuses on bringing superior products to the market. Also, the products should ultimately create great experiences for customers. Consider this from a senior living marketing perspective. For example, is your wellness program outstanding? Do you offer a unique dining experience? Talk about them!

3. Service Quality

Delivering consistently superior customer service is the recipe for this special sauce. The secret ingredient? Service resolution. After all, nobody’s perfect. But being able to listen to the customers’ problems so you can work toward a positive resolution is key. Virgin Airlines is a great example of a company that offers full service flights and outstanding customer service.

4. Relationship Differentiation

This special sauce is all about your associates and team members. Their interactions with the customer demonstrate competence, courtesy, credibility, reliability, and responsiveness. This avenue is closely related to service quality. But where service quality mostly focuses on processes and systems, relationship differentiation is all about the people.

The hiring process at Zappos is a great example of how they maintain their relationship differentiation. The recruitment process is like a courtship. They woo people who fit into their culture and who are good people.

5. Reputation Differentiation

Some companies set themselves apart by their reputation. This can be difficult for newer senior living communities, but even they can succeed in establishing a quality reputation through strategic partnerships. In other words, alliances with hospitals, medical staff, and industry thought leaders can establish a company as an expert.

DuPont, for example, has a strong reputation, employing engineers, scientists, and sales reps with solid technical or educational backgrounds.

To help you define your special sauce, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Why do your customers choose you rather than your competitors?
  2. What emotional need does your service fulfill?
  3. What aspects of your business can your competitors not imitate?

Once you’ve determined your special sauce, make sure that you do the following.

  • First, your special sauce isn’t something you simply throw around in senior living marketing copy. Your company should be walking the talk when it comes to fulfillment.
  • Second, employees should be able to articulate your special sauce.
  • Third, make sure your special sauce is part of your culture at all levels.
  • Finally, make sure you promote how great your special sauce is across all marketing channels!

Need help defining your community’s special sauce! Our senior living marketing agency can help!

We have decades of industry experience, so we know how to create a special sauce that will be unique to your community. Let us help!